State-run BSNL will offer free calls on its network for a week in the flood hit Kashmir, while private mobile players will offer 60 minutes/day of free airtime in the valley.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said mobile networks have been substantially or partially restored in the valley, except Poonch.
Of the total 12,306 base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile towers in Jammu and Kashmir, 6,811 were submerged and out of that, the government has restored 1,208 BTS.
“People can talk free for a week on BSNL’s network in the flood affected areas. We have also requested private telecom operators. They have allowed 60 minutes of free talk time every day,” Prasad said during his 100 days conference on IT and Telecom.
Also, 8,000 landline connections in the Kashmir valley have started working and the government has started five free PCOs and Wifi spots at the Srinagar airport.
“Except Poonch, mobile services are either substantially or partially restored in all parts of the valley.”
BSNL had earlier said telecom services in the area will be normalised soon. BSNL had restored 92 mobile towers, which were affected by floods. Overall 473 towers are working in the region, out of total 934 towers. Other mobile operators including Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Reliance Communications (RCom) have also restored their network in various parts of the state.